The difference between a group and a team
Do you work in a group or a team? This may seem a strange question as many people don’t think there is a difference. But we have noticed that many employees and managers are insufficiently trained to perform as a team. They continue to think and act on the basis of the group concept and miss this switch in the development of their team.
A few differences:
- Reason for existence: a group is created for administrative reasons; for example, to cut out a management layer. But there is no sense of cohesiveness. In a team, the members share the realisation that by working together they will be able to achieve a goal that is greater than each person’s individual strength.
- Role familiarity: in a group, people know little about the knowledge and tasks of the other group members. In teams, people understand how others contribute to the final result. This helps to streamline the process.
- Conflict resolution: in a group, members look to the manager in the event of conflict. He is the one who has to ensure that problems with collaboration have to be solved. Within teams, members actually feel connected and take responsibility for mutual collaboration.
If you look at it this way, a team is far more than a group. A high-performing team goes even further.
What are high-performing teams?
Some teams appear to fly high, while other teams struggle with every step they take. Why is that? But, even more to the point, how can you transform a struggling, faltering team into one that can achieve results together? Where people can work together constructively, use one another’s talents, have the courage to share success and disappointment and enjoy going to work?
We’ve asked thousands of people about the best team they’ve ever worked in. What characteristics distinguished this team from normal teams? You can see a pattern emerging from their answers; a few aspects of their experience with team development that often recur.
- One-third of the characteristics of strong teams mentioned involved reason
- Two-thirds of the characteristics involved
Both kinds of characteristics must be represented in a team. If that is not the case, problems will arise immediately in a team. But allow the above-mentioned to sink in for a moment; the majority of the success factors in team development involve feelings!
Energy in teams
Dr. Cees van der Zwan is a partner at COURIUS and obtained his doctorate with a thesis on the factors of team success. His research into 250 teams showed that where energy exists in a team, the team members perform 40% more effectively. Such teams also have a lower turnover of staff, fewer cases of non-attendance and there is a pleasant work atmosphere. Furthermore, each team has energy sources and energy guzzlers and four types of energy play a vital role in every team. These are:
- Productive energy
- Comfort energy
- Stress and corrosion
- Resignation and passivity
The balance between these four types of energy determines how a team tackles the day-to-day challenges. It also offers you four opportunities to influence and direct the energy within a team in a positive way. This is how you lay the foundation for an improved atmosphere and for better results.